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Air Routes

Age 16 to 18
Challenge Level


Earth, London, Cape Town, latitude longitude

London is situated at longitude $0^o$, latitude $52^o$ North and Cape Town at longitude $18^o$ East, latitude $34^o$ South. Taking the earth to be a sphere with unit radius (and ultimately scaling by 6367 kilometres for the radius of the earth) work out coordinates for both places, then find the angle LOC where L represents London, O the centre of the earth and C Cape Town. Hence find the distance on the surface of the earth between the two places. If a plane flies at an altitude of 6 kilometres and the journey takes 11 hours what is the average speed?

[You might also like to try the problems 'Over The Pole', which is a little simpler, and 'Flight Path' which is similar to 'Air Routes' but the method of solution given there is a bit different. ]